By Brittany Wallman
BROWARD, Fla. — A former Broward Sheriff's Office jail deputy was hospitalized under the Baker Act on Tuesday after he posted a YouTube video accusing Sheriff Scott Israel of turning his back on him, and saying he didn't want to be "the next Christopher Dorner," the fired LAPD cop who went on a revenge-fueled shooting spree in February.
The Baker Act is a provision of Florida law allowing someone to be held at a designated institution for up to 72 hours if they are believed to pose a threat to themself or someone else.
"Please, somebody, intervene in this situation," former deputy Raymond Hicks says in the video, his voice choked with emotion, " because I don't know, time is running out....I pray and hope that somebody, somebody take a look at this video, and understand that I've been through so much, I don't know how much more I can take. I don't want to be the next Christopher Dorner. So I'm praying and asking someone to get involved. Please. God bless you."
Hicks said he was walking to his car to go to work Tuesday, in uniform and armed for his job as a security guard, when a SWAT team jumped out of a white van. They aimed assault rifles at him, he said, and shouted at him to "get down on the ground!"
His 10-year-old son was watching, he said.
He was taken to Florida Medical Center for observation. BSO declined to comment on the turn of events, citing medical privacy.
In a telephone interview Wednesday from the hospital, Hicks said he posted the video because he wanted to draw attention to what the Sheriff's Office has done to him. Hicks was charged with drug trafficking but acquitted in 2001, only to be fired shortly afterwards for misconduct related to the case. Hicks said he was framed by colleagues at BSO because he witnessed deputies planting drugs on suspects and was prepared to tell.
Hicks sued BSO for wrongful termination, and in a 2003 settlement, the agency rescinded his termination and allowed him to resign, paying him $100,000 in back pay.
"Hicks understands that he is not eligible for re-employment and any application for re-employment can be rejected based upon the terms of this agreement," the settlement said.
Still, Hicks thought it was possible to come back, when his longtime friend Israel ran for sheriff.
"Scott came to my home and he said if he won sheriff he was going to bring me back to the Broward Sheriff's Office and I'd be one of his administrators," Hicks said Wednesday.
Israel won the November election, ousting former Sheriff Al Lamberti. Hicks applied to return to BSO as an "executive administrator," But in April, the agency told him he wouldn't be hired.
Hicks said he quit a good job with the Department of Homeland Security to campaign for Israel, and his family is suffering financially as he works two to three days a week as an armed guard in Tri-Rail trains.
"Even this man that I've known since 1987 turned his back on my and my kids," Hicks said in the video, "and I'm saying to myself, 'How could you do this to me, Scott?' "
Israel said in a recent interview that he didn't make hiring promises, and he didn't micromanage human resources when staff there told him they were categorizing Hicks' application as inactive.
Hicks said he hasn't recovered from the humiliation and suffering, the 16 months of sitting in jail awaiting trial and his subsequent firing — as well as later arrests by BSO for child abuse and shooting a gun in his backyard, cases he said were also cleared.
Despite his reference to Christopher Dorner in the video, Hicks told the Sun Sentinel on Wednesday that he wasn't threatening harm to the sheriff or to his former colleagues, some of whom he believes scuttled his attempt to return to BSO.
Dorner was fired from the Los Angeles Police Department after he reported a colleague had kicked a handcuffed suspect in the face. He went on a shooting spree in February, killing the daughter and fiance of a former LAPD police captain, and a police officer. Another officer was killed during a shootout with Dorner, who was then killed himself during the standoff.
Hicks said if LAPD had listened to Dorner, he and the victims might still be alive. But he said he wouldn't take the law into his own hands like Dorner did.
"I would never ever go out and shoot anybody," Hicks said in the telephone interview Wednesday. "I would never go out and take nobody's life, never. The word of God says 'repay no evil.' Romans 12:17 says 'repay no evil for evil.' By doing so, God said 'Vengeance is mine.' 'I"ll repay,' said the Lord."
Hicks said he has begged for help over the years, writing to Oprah, Dr. Phil and Tavis Smiley, and reaching out to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. No one was interested, he said. Now he's writing a book about what BSO did to him. He said his editor told him that posting a YouTube video would help promote it. He posted the video Sunday.
"I lost my home, I lost my cars, I lost all my finances. I can't even describe to you the pain and suffering," he said in one video. "It was at that time that I told my mom I went and bought an AK with 180 rounds. .. I said, 'You might as well get your black dress because I'll tell you right now, I cannot take this no more. These people have literally ruined my life for something I haven't done.' ... I said, 'How much more can I take, mom, before I snap?' "
Reprinted with permission from the Sun-Sentinel